Attracting the best talent requires well-thought-out recruitment strategies. The best candidates won't waste time on disorganized hiring processes or a subpar candidate experience. In a candidate-driven market, the stakes are higher for quality candidates to find the right offer.

This article will explore the goals of recruitment strategies and provide eight proven strategies we use all the time.

​Goals of Recruitment Strategies

Test if your recruitment strategies are working by getting clear on priorities. 

When your talent acquisition team has clear goals in mind, it’s a source of motivation. They can measure their success by the goalposts. Competitive analysis will show you where your recruitment strategy can stand to improve.

To uncover the goals of your recruitment strategy, answer these questions first:

  • What do I need to do?
  • Why is this important to do?
  • What does success look like?
  • What needs to improve?

When you determine what's missing from your recruitment process, I bet that it corresponds to these five goals: 

1. Lower Turnover Rates

Employee turnover is expensive and counterproductive. According to Gallup, the cost of a bad hire can reach 1.5 times the total employee salary. That means it can cost up to $60,000 to replace a junior graphic designer making an annual salary of $40,000. 

Turnover is the result of many issues:

  • Poor candidate experience
  • Lack of onboarding or hiring manager support
  • Something amiss in the company's culture
  • The candidate receives a better job offer
  • The job description did not reflect the role

The list can stretch on — and that's kind of the point. Employee retention starts with a solid recruiting process.

2. Stronger Onboarding Support

A strategic onboarding process can make or break the candidate experience. New hires who are deciding whether they like their new job will decide fast. SHRM reports that "half of all hourly workers leave new jobs within the first 120 days." Read that again. 

Making time to connect with new hires and build rapport is part of the social integration aspect. According to the same report by SHRM, "60% of managers who fail to onboard successfully cite failure to establish effective working relationships as a primary reason."

When onboarding is successful, the benefits are plenty. 

A few key benefits include:

  • Feelings of success
  • Employee loyalty
  • Lower churn 
  • Heightened productivity
  • Less stress 

3. Stronger, Better, Faster Decision-Making 

If your team is out of alignment it can mean that the recruiting process drags on and on. This is a fantastic way to lose out on top talent who want to get on with things. Ensure the hiring team is on the same page by using supportive technology that syncs the team. 

Prelude increases scheduling efficiency and makes job seeker data easily accessible. This allows the hiring team to get on the same page and eliminates unnecessary back and forth that can cause candidates to drop off.

4. Fewer Open Positions 

When you increase the efficiency of your recruitment process there are fewer open positions to fill. This means current employees are getting the support they need from an adequately staffed team. Trying to cover the workload of vacant positions while hiring can cause burnout. Fewer open positions is a sign of a successful recruitment strategy.

5. A Diversity-First Company Culture

Diverse teams outperform homogeneous ones. 

The World Economic Forum indicates an increase of up to 20% of innovation and 19% higher innovation revenues in diverse teams. Diverse company culture is central to employee engagement and team performance. 

Addressing bias in the hiring process, including job ads, will be crucial to attracting more diverse candidates.

Consider Project Implicit, a test created by Harvard psychologists that measures implicit bias. This can be useful for all members of the hiring team to challenge their inherent bias. Awareness can serve as the antidote for unconscious barriers to diverse hiring.

8 Proven Recruitment Strategies

You've identified hiring goals and why they're important. It's time to investigate recruitment strategies that'll attract ideal candidates. This alone enhances the hiring process.

1. Enhance Employer Branding

A strong employer brand means that candidates not only know what you do but get excited to learn that you're hiring. 

A sign that it’s working is when former employees are happy to refer candidates and it's easy for them to articulate why they should work there. To get a sense of the strength of your employer brand, perform a quick Google search with your company name and check out your rating is on Glassdoor

You can enhance your employer branding with a few tweaks. 

Try this:

  • Make sure your logo is up to date and cohesive across all social accounts.
  • Respond to all Tweets and reviews on social sites like Glassdoor.
  • Optimize the company website for speed and SEO to rank on Google.
  • Promote job ads on sites like LinkedIn and Indeed so candidates see them first.
  • Attend and sponsor local events — wear branded clothes and hand out swag. 

2. Write Excellent Job Descriptions

It may seem like common sense but so much of the headache from recruiting comes from poorly written job descriptions. They may be witty and smart but they don't portray the job requirements well. 

The tone of your job description should also be a marker of the company culture. If it's a playful environment, more playful language would be best. If it's quite a serious environment, show that instead.

Try this:

  • Ask someone from your team who has done the job before to edit the job description. They'll be able to point out any glitches and add insights that someone from human resources may not have.
  • To make it more human, include the hiring manager’s name and their contact details.
  • Eliminate gender bias language with a quick check in this Gender Decoder.

3. Try Social Media Recruiting

Social recruiting is a popular way that companies target millennials. It's exactly what it sounds like: Use social media to post job ads, contact potential candidates, and keep in touch. This is especially strong when your social media presence reflects the company culture.

Try this:

  • Create a Twitter account for recruiting that’s separate from the main company account.
  • Incentivize the team to share about work events via their social media accounts.
  • Encourage the team to share job postings on Twitter, LinkedIn, Slack, and Facebook. 
  • Make a hashtag specific to your recruiting efforts.
  • Reply to interested users in a speedy manner, ideally within the hour.

4. Invest in Supportive Technology

The investment you make up front in useful technology can save you time and money down the line. You'll know where to invest based on the top priorities of your recruiting strategy. Maybe it's a cutting edge Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or LinkedIn Recruiter. 

The recruiting metrics that you get from these technologies can help to streamline your hiring process and attract ideal candidates.

Try this:

  • Make a list of metrics or insights that are missing from your recruiting effort and align with software that can automate the process easily, like Prelude.
  • Try competitive analysis to see what tech choices your competition is making.
  • Assign members of the team to compare trials of 1-3 similar technologies and have them present their findings to the team.

5. Hire an External Recruiter for Niche Roles

If you find you have a technical role to hire for or require a niche skill set, you might consider hiring a specialized recruiter. Sometimes it's most productive to admit when we're spinning our wheels and get help. Specialized agencies have the infrastructure and access to top talent in niche areas. Outsource difficult-to-fill positions so you can fill the roles that are in your wheelhouse faster. 

Try this:

  • Use your network to ask peers within the industry for their favorite recruiting agency.
  • Schedule a consultation in-person and come prepared with your questions about who their current clients are and how they work.
  • Ask for references and check them as a first step.

6. Buff Up Interview Skills

An organized and efficient interview process can be just the ticket to attracting the best talent. Pique the curiosity of passive candidates with positive experiences shared about your company. Explore a wide range of interview types and make sure that your process is suitable for the role. 

Try this:

7. Make Candidate Experience a Top Priority

A shorter, streamlined application process can be enough to enhance the candidate experience. Other candidate considerations include responsiveness, flexibility, and showing up prepared for each conversation.

Try this:

  • Treat potential candidates like you would your top tier clients. You never know — a candidate could become a client one day. It’s essential to follow up with every job applicant on the status of their application. Prelude can help schedule automated messages tailored to each search so you can set it and forget it. 

8. Referrals 

Referrals are an excellent way to ensure the quality of hire. Reach out to your existing talent pool and set up an employee referral program to create incentives. The talent that comes from people who have worked with your team and understand the company from the inside will be the strongest fit in the resume pile.

Try this:

  • Create an in-office competition around who refers to the most qualified candidates within a set period.
  • Don’t forget the captive audience of job candidates you are interviewing. If they’ve applied for a role, they’re bought in to the company brand and mission. Be forthcoming about other roles that you have open in case they know just the person.

Optimize Your Recruitment Strategies to Attract Top Talent

A thoughtful recruitment strategy prevents you from leaving qualified candidates on the table. It also helps to build your employer brand. As recruitment marketing trends shift, so must our methods. Make a list of three areas of improvement that are preventing you from your goals, and apply some of these recruitment strategies to those areas. 

If you’re a small business and want some tailored advice, read up on talent acquisition tips for small businesses.